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This species is smaller than the Common Darter or Red-veined Darter. It has extensive pale orange colouration to the basal half of the wings and many wing veins. The bright red males and clear yellow-brown females are attractive. The eyes are brown above and yellow below. The pterostigma is red or brown strongly outlined in black, somewhat shorter than in most darters.
The males become orange-red with maturity with a red frons and red-brown thorax.
Females have a ochre yellow abdomen strongly marked with black along the lower half of each side.
Found in marginal vegetation along ditches, ponds and the still backwaters of rivers.
Status & Distribution
Irregular migrant but may occur in large numbers (1995, 2006). Has bred after major influxes (e.g. Chartley Moss, Staffordshire, in 1996), but colonies do not persist.
The various resident and migrant species of Darter in the UK are easily confused, the females being particularly difficult to tell apart.